Jordan Shipley May Be Cincinnati Bengals' New Go-To Guy

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2010

Have you ever heard of the expression "tall poppy syndrome"?

If not, it's basically when a group of people get together and choose to dismantle and criticize another human being who may be talented at one thing or another.

How does this relate to football, I hear you ask?  Well, it's simple: In the 2010 NFL Draft, I, like many people, felt that Jordan Shipley was extremely hard done by in terms of his overall selection.

However, that is in the past now, and what is important is Shipley's future in the NFL.

For the most part, it seems every offseason we are astounded by a handful of players that were listed as "write-offs," so to speak, in terms of their performance and NFL future. 

But here we are once again, finding ourselves staring right down the barrel of yet another highly underestimated player.

Okay, so not everybody totally underestimated Shipley—after all, he was one of the few standout wide receivers to enter this year's NFL Draft.  Although, with this in mind, it seemed that as soon as Shipley was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, most people chose to switch off and forget about the former Texas star.

Luckily though, Jordan hasn't let that totally happen.

In case you are unaware, Shipley, like many other young rookies in recent weeks, has impressed just about everybody during his scheduled team organized activities with the Bengals.

According to ESPN.com's James Walker, Shipley has caught everything from the slot position so far in minicamps, and is looking to have an extremely impressive rookie debut.

So what does this all mean for the Bengals as a team?

I won't go as far as to say that Shipley is the Bengals' savior, but if we look ahead into the future, I think it's fair to say that Shipley may be quite a factor in the Bengals receiving game.

In recent years, the Bengals have lacked a lot at the receiver position.  Sure, they have the highly talented Chad Ochocinco and newly-signed Antonio Bryant, but since the departure of T.J. Houshmandzadeh to Seattle, the midfield receiving scheme has been almost non-existent in Cincinnati.

This is, of course, where Shipley steps in.  In Shipley's time with Texas, he was Colt McCoy's go-to guy.  They were roommates, they were great on the field, and for Texas fans, even imagining the two on separate teams was almost unthinkable prior to the NFL Draft.

However, aside from McCoy and Shipley's bromance, it was duly noted that Shipley was a fantastic receiver, particularly in the midfield. 

Perhaps this was due to the way Mack Brown ran the Longhorn offense, or maybe it is simply a God-given talent, but for the Bengals, they finally gain a receiver that can expose some serious defensive holes in the middle of the field.

And how does this help the Bengals, I hear you ask?

Before I answer this question, let's focus on how it helps Carson Palmer. 

I think you'll agree that in recent years, Carson Palmer has been good, but he's been that extra step down from being great.  Sure, he is now quickly becoming an NFL veteran; however, Palmer now needs to step up offensively and carry the Bengals on his shoulders.

Therefore, having a third or fourth wide receiver option in Shipley benefits the Bengals immensely.  If Ochocinco is underperforming, then the team will no longer suffer.

Of course, Bryant will play a massive factor, but it should be taken as a luxury to have a highly adaptable wide receiver like Shipley on the roster.

Now, I focus back to how this helps the Bengals as a team, and quite frankly, this answer is easy. 

In Shipley's time as a Longhorn, when he and McCoy played exceptionally well, the Longhorns won nine times out of 10.  So, in 2010, if Shipley receives a fair amount of playing time, and a decent amount of snaps, then expect him to perform well, and perform for the Bengals.

I'm not stating that Palmer needs to become McCoy, but he does need to utilize Shipley properly, recognize his talent, and take advantage of his sure-fire hands and ability to make a play after the catch.

If Cincinnati executes this game plan well, then wins should begin to grow like wildflowers.

Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.


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